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11 Most Intimidating Players in College Football

Football is a sport made for inherently intimidating people.

But among the group of big, strong, hardy athletes who gravitate toward the game in high numbers, a faction emerges as even bigger, stronger and hardier than the rest.

More often that not, this has to do with size, physique and pure physical appearance. But in some cases, smaller players earn a reputation based on how hard and often they hit.

Either way, players like this are the last things opponents want to see barreling toward them in a game filled with giants barreling toward them.

Sound off below and let us know who we missed.

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Ranking the 5 Best NFL Prospects on Tennessee

The Tennessee Volunteers are adding talent left and right to an already stacked roster. The Volunteers are a legit contender for the SEC title in 2015. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder ranks his top five NFL draft prospects on Tennessee's roster. 

Who is the best prospect for the Vols? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Is ACC Out-Recruiting SEC in Class of 2016?

The SEC’s dominance over college football may have ended in 2013 when its national title streak was snapped, but the nation’s most powerful conference has still been the preferred destination for the nation’s elite recruits.

However, Florida State ended the title streak and it appears that the ACC is trying to follow suit in recruiting in the 2016 cycle.

FSU and Miami are currently holding down the top two spots in the 247Sports Team Rankings for the 2016 cycle. 

But does the ACC hold the upper hand over the SEC thus far in the 2016 cycle?

It depends through which prism you choose to view the data on the 2016 class.

The SEC has commitments from 10 prospects who rank among the nation’s Top 50 prospects overall, while the ACC [including Notre Dame] has eight such pledges.

Despite the ACC’s perch at the top, the SEC still has five schools—Ole Miss, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU and Mississippi State—rated in the Top 10.

Plus, assuming schools such as Alabama [No. 18]—the school that has finished with the top overall class five years in a row—Auburn [No. 22] and Texas A&M [No. 21] stay outside of the Top 15 is highly unlikely.

The last time one of those schools failed to finish in the Top 15 was in 2012.

Still, the ACC has three additional teams, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Duke, that have classes rated among the nation’s top 20 collectives. But, the league’s hot start can be attributed to a few factors.

For starters, Florida State’s national title in 2013 gave the league a much-needed shot in the arm in terms of credibility.

The ‘Noles have been recruiting at a high level ever since Jimbo Fisher took over in Tallahassee in 2009. However, FSU has some company in the form of Miami and Clemson in terms of recruiting among the nation’s elite.

Al Golden and the ‘Canes have returned to relevance by narrowing their focus to the talent-rich area of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in South Florida.

Dabo Swinney has the Tigers poised to land their second consecutive Top 10 class. 

Additionally, seven of the Top 10 coaches in the current 247Sports Recruiter Rankings hail from the ACC—with coaches from FSU, Miami and Clemson currently holding the top three spots in that list.

The gains represent the fruits of the league’s labor after a strong showing on the field against the SEC last year, going 4-0 on rivalry weekend and with Georgia Tech throttling Mississippi State in the Orange Bowl.

However, the true test for the league will be to continually chip away at the SEC’s dominance on the field and on signing day.

The SEC is still king, for now.

But for its neighbors in the southeast, the upward trend for the once-maligned ACC is the latest signal that the league is serious about competing on the gridiron in the years to come.

 

Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Watch Ohio State QB Signee Catch His Own Pass for Unreal Touchdown

Joe Burrow, a 4-star quarterback per 247Sports, can do it all on the football field. The Ohio State commit, known for heaving touchdown passes all over the field, can now add a receiving touchdown to his resume, as he caught his own pass for an improbable score.

Check out the video and see for yourself!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

First-Year College Football Coaches Primed for Big Things in 2015

Rebuilding mode? What's that?

Just because a head coach is entering his first year with a new program doesn't mean he can't hit the ground running. While it takes time for every new coach to put his stamp on things and get players to buy in, some inherit good situations. With the right fit and perhaps a little bit of luck, first-year coaches don't have to settle for losing seasons or tempered expectations. 

Certainly, that holds true for the upcoming season. 

Which first-year coaches are primed for big things in 2015? We have five in the following slides who take over ready-to-win rosters. Coaches are selected based on returning players, upcoming schedules and realistic goals. 

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Cavin Ridley: Brother's Alabama-Bound, but 'Doesn't Mean I'm Going to Go There'

Pompano Beach, Florida, 4-star wide receiver Cavin Ridley is the first to admit he isn't his brother. 2015 Alabama signee Calvin Ridley did what was best for him.

And when the time comes, Cavin said he's going to do what's best for him.

As a highly touted 2016 recruit, Cavin Ridley will go through the spring, summer and fall with a handful of solid opportunities to play college football. With the latest offers coming from Florida State and Florida, Ridley is nearing double-digit offers and could have double the offers by the end of the spring.

But if you're thinking Ridley is an automatic lock for following his big brother's footsteps, think again. That's not to say he isn't considering Alabama, but Ridley said his recruiting process is just that—his process.

"I just have to be myself," Ridley said. "I can't be like my brother all the time. My brother's going to Alabama; it doesn't mean I'm going to go there. I mean, who knows? I may not have a future there."

Calvin Ridley was the nation's top-ranked receiver of the 2015 class. At 6'0", 170 pounds, he won many over with his speed, route running and overall hands.

Cavin Ridley, an inch taller and 20 pounds heavier, said there are things that will put him in the same category as his brother. Currently, he's ranked No. 39 among 2016 receivers nationally.

"I think I've got better hands than my brother. You can go on YouTube and see that," he said. "I'm bigger than my brother, so I'm more physical.

"He runs unbelievable routes, so he's got me with that. But I train with my brother, so it's going to come naturally to me. He's going to help me get more crisp with my routes."

Ridley said everything "is open right now" with his recruitment. He is considering every offer received. Florida State, Florida, Miami, Tennessee, West Virginia, South Florida, Louisville and Temple all have offered.

Alabama also has offered, and he said that while it would be fun playing alongside his brother, he's going to make the right decision by researching every school.

Ridley visited Florida two weekends ago. He said he had a chance to chat with both receivers coach Kerry Dixon II and head coach Jim McElwain.

"The trip was nice. I had a chance to talk to them and see how I fit into their play style," Ridley said. "The coaches are nice guys."

Ridley said he has a couple other schools that he'd like to visit, including Auburn, Tennessee and Georgia. Dates haven't been set yet, but he's hoping to make the trips before the end of the summer.

"I feel like I can go anywhere," he said. "I'm looking for how I fit in to a play scheme. This is going to be four years of my life. I want to make sure I fit and see what it'll look like for me."

 

Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' player ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

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Nick Saban's Superior Recruiting Will Help Alabama Overcome Spring Injuries

If your program is the talk of spring practice, that's usually either really good or really bad. Either stars have emerged and the depth needed to compete for a national championship is being developed, or injuries have whittled away that depth to a point of concern.

For Alabama, it's the latter.

The latest injury scare came in the form of defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson's ankle.

The 6'4", 312-pound monster was carted off of the practice field on Tuesday, according to the The Tuscaloosa News' Aaron Suttles. However, according to Matt Zenitz of AL.com, the injury isn't believed to be serious.

That isn't a breeze you feel, it's a sigh of relief coming from Tuscaloosa. 

Robinson had 49 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss last year. He dominated the line of scrimmage in the SEC Championship Game win over Missouri when he notched nine stops and generally made life miserable for Tiger quarterback Maty Mauk.

Fortunately for Alabama, head coach Nick Saban's recruiting prowess over the last few years has made the defensive line one of the deepest units on the roster—even without recently dismissed lineman Jonathan Taylor.

Sure, had Robinson's injury been serious, losing both nose tackles within a two-week span wouldn't have been the most ideal situation in the world, but Alabama has created enough depth and versatility up front through recruiting to sustain the line when holes develop. 

If 313-pound starting defensive end Jarran Reed—a former 4-star prospect—needs to slide over and play the nose, he can. After all, former 5-star prospect Da'Shawn Hand and 4-star stud Dalvin Tomlinson are waiting in the wings as rotational players behind Reed and former 4-star prospect D.J. Pettway at end.

If Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart don't want to move Reed, no worries. Plans C and D could be to trot out Josh Frazier or Darren Lake at nose, both of whom chime in at a cool 315 pounds. 

As if that wasn't enough, 5-star, 325-pound defensive tackle Daron Payne is coming this summer to provide the ultimate interior line insurance policy.

"Competition is always hot for us because we like competition," Tomlinson told Bleacher Report Alabama lead writer Marc Torrence. "That's how we are on the D-line. It just depends on which defense we're going to be in, and everybody has a better ability than someone else, and we try to help each other improve our abilities that we might be lacking at."

The same kind of recruiting success has helped Alabama withstand massive attrition at running back.

Remember back in 2013 when Alabama signed stud running backs Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara, Tyren Jones and Altee Tenpenny—all of whom were rated as 4-star prospects or higher by 247Sports?

Kamara left after the 2013 season, Tenpenny transferred following the 2014 season and Jones was recently dismissed from the program following an arrest for second-degree possession of marijuana.

Those losses, combined with the loss of freshman Bo Scarbrough to an ACL injury suffered Friday afternoon, puts Alabama in a precarious spot at the running back position. 

Think about that for a second—the loss of of three running backs with four or more stars attached to their names only puts Alabama in a precarious spot, and hasn't ruined the season before it starts.

That's a huge compliment to Saban and his recruiting prowess.

Henry is still around to be the bruiser, Kenyan Drake is back from injury to be the ultra-versatile weapon offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin likes in his offenses, 4-star early enrollee Desherrius Flowers is there to serve as Henry's primary backup and 5-star Damien Harris—the top running back in the class of 2015—is coming this summer.

It's not the X's and the O's, it's the Jimmys and the Joes.

Alabama's Jimmys and Joes are virtually all 4- and 5-star studs, and that allows Saban and the Crimson Tide to overcome what would be devastating spring injuries to most teams.

 

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ranking the Best Special Teams Players in College Football in 2015

Special teams are a lot like putting—neither seems important until it’s late in the day and the game is on the line.

Either your team has a three-point lead with two minutes left to go and you need your punter to pin the other team inside its own 20, or you’re standing over a short putt on the 17th that would put you two up on your yappy brother-in-law.

Suddenly, once again, you wish you would have taken the whole “short game” thing more seriously, instead of obsessing about a quarterback battle or how far you could hit your new driver.

It reminds you of Boston College kicker Mike Knoll missing an extra-point attempt in overtime in last season’s Pinstripe Bowl, sealing Penn State’s unlikely 31-30 comeback victory.

Here are 10 players who we should all be wishing for this year—they won’t likely get the yips or the press.

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